1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is an Assistant Relationship Manager for Commercial Businesses. My day-to-day tasks include dealing with any correspondence such as payments, change of signatories, KYC/KYB, service charge reviews, annual accounts tracking, analysing financials, liasing with product partners, booking customer meetings, doing any required preparation and assisting the managers on these meetings. Our main duty is to lighten the workload of the relationship manager and be the first point of contact for our customers.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned how to be more professional due to dealing with Directors of a company on a daily basis. I have also learned all about banking and finance (and still learning!) which I had no knowledge of before starting this job. It is very difficult to begin with but eventually your knowledge and skills will fit into place with your role.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I do really enjoy my programme as it is very different to anything I have ever done before and I find financials and businesses very interesting. At times it can be frustrating because you feel as though you don't know anything about banking, but you learn through experience.
4. How valued do you feel by RBS?
I feel very valued by RBS despite it being such a large corporation. Senior members of staff such as line manager, director, regional directors etc make you feel welcomed and are very friendly. You do not feel 'pressure' to be overly formal and unlike yourself.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
In all honesty, there is not much structure in training development (in work) at the minute purely because we are one of the first intakes of apprentices, and the support model within RBS has recently changed everyone is still learning their job role requirements. Also the job itself isn't structured and your workload depends on what comes in throughout the day. We are working towards creating an apprentice induction pack for future apprentices so they are able to see their stronger and weaker areas and where they need any additional training.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Support from your training provider, BPP, is as much as you want it to be. All training is done online and you have your own personal tutor and personal assessor who are able to assist you with anything you need if you wish. I have not used this much but it is nice knowing that the support is there if you need it. You will need to be independent in revision as, unlike during school or college, you have deadlines that you are expected to meet without having teachers pushing you.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employers are great in giving support. I have my own personal 'buddy' ARM who is there to help me with anything I need support on, and a line manager to go to if I need anything work based. All other members of staff are supportive if you need any help and are willing to teach you new things. RBS also offers additional training both on the Intranet and through the Chartered Banker. I have also received financials training from senior members of staff.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary package is fantastic compared to other similar level apprenticeships. However I live on my own with a child so for me personally it perhaps isn't as much as what is required. It is worth noting that you will have a 'Value Account' which is your basic salary plus pension benefits ie. a salary top-up which can be taken either as cash or benefits (pension, life cover, childcare vouchers etc). This is usually around 20-25% of your basic salary. My value account (total package) is approximately £18500pa starting wage in the Nottingham area.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes there are lots of opportunities outside of work - our department hosts and takes part in lots of charity events such as quiz nights, the Calledonian Challenge, 50 mile cycling and there are plenty of networking opportunities with other parts of RBS group such as Coutts, Real Estate etc. Christmas parties and general get togethers. Also there is an opportunity to host events with customers such as manufacturing and social events.
9a. Would you recommend RBS to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Because the salary is very competitive, it is a permanent role and there are hundreds of opportunities within other departments so you are never short of a career path. Everyone is really welcoming and, although difficult to get to grips with banking and the job role to begin with, it is a head start in a position that people at Branch level work towards for years.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to RBS? *
My adivce would be to be yourself during interviews. Believe it or not, everyone is human and people prefer it when you are relaxed and genuine rather than trying to be too formal. Also, be confident and only apply for the job if you are genuinely interested in the idea of Commercial Banking and finance because there is lots to learn and the role can be very fast paced and pressured at times.
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